The Hector Seminar is a project that supports highly gifted children in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and was made possible by the Hector Foundation in partnership with Karlsruhe regional council. Particularly in the sciences, the aim is to advance talented pupils throughout their time at high school by providing tailored, long-term tuition in small groups.
In doing so, it intends to provide lasting support that sparks an interest among group members in interrelations between mathematics and science, teach them interdisciplinary thinking and research, and facilitate access to degrees in STEM fields.
The Haus der Astronomie manages projects at the collaboration stage, the final year of the Hector Seminar, in which the participants carry out student research projects. Previous topics have included
- 2010/11: Documenting changes in Jupiter’s atmosphere, determining Hubble constants and modelling the light curves of exoplanets
- 2011/12: Observing and analysing exoplanet transits
- 2012/33: Follow-up observations of recently discovered near-Earth asteroids
- 2013/14: Measuring asteroid light curves
- 2014/15: Building and testing a magnetometer to monitor possible auroral activity
- 2015/16: Commissioning and calibrating a high-resolution spectrograph
- 2016/17: Light pollution in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region
- 2017/18: Automatising the dome of the 50-cm telescope
- 2018/19: Documenting the flyby of comet 46P/Wirtanen